All The Personality Test Threads Merged Here
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13-01-2018, 04:13 PM
RE: All The Personality Test Threads Merged Here
Not a test but explains some of our batshit behaviors.

The Thrill of Uncertainty

"By the end of the study, pigeons were pecking a food lever up to five times per second “for as long as fifteen hours without pausing longer than fifteen or twenty seconds during the whole period.”

B.F. Skinner made a pigeon lose its mind.

Skinner, a Harvard psychologist, studied the science of incentives. He did this by giving thousands of animals different incentives to be rewarded with food. Sometimes the animal just had to hit a lever, and a food pellet popped out every time. Sometimes it had to learn a pattern – two lever taps, or a long tap, or a tap and a delay and another tap. Pigeons and rats are remarkably good at figuring this stuff out.

Part of Skinner’s research was determining what incentives are so powerful that they can’t be ignored, causing animals to become obsessed beyond the need for food pellets. What kind of incentives make a pigeon lose its mind?

He basically found three types of incentives:

Fixed. One tap gives one food pellet. Same result every time. Animals figure this out quickly but don’t get excited about it. “This is how I get food. OK. Move on.”

Changing. Today you get food with one tap. Tomorrow it will take two taps. The next day, a tap pattern. This gets animals excited. It’s a stimulative puzzle. “Oh! Let’s figure out how to get food today!”

Variable interval. Tap the lever and you will get food on average every hour, but that might mean five pellets in the next hour and then nothing for the next five hours. Animals will get the same amount of food over the course of a day, but at random and unpredictable times. This turns them into addicts. They lose their minds. “I know food will come so I’m going to keep tapping but AHHHH MAN WHEN IS IT COMING THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING ME JUST KEEP HITTING THE DAMN LEVER.”

The science behind this is how much dopamine you get for different rewards.

Fixed rewards are too easy to get excited about. Changing rewards offer enough buzz to want to figure out tomorrow’s puzzle. Variable interval rewards flood your brain with dopamine because that high is evolutionarily necessary to survive the hellish world of hunting and famine. The dopamine rush of obtaining something important that you knew would eventually come but didn’t know when is what keeps you hunting for more. The pigeons in Skinner’s study got so much buzz from variable interval feedings that they became compulsive, completely out of control.

“You can move from the pigeon to the human case,” Skinner once said. “[Variable interval] is at the heart of all gambling devices. It has the same effect. A pigeon can become a pathological gambler just as a person can.”

Variable interval rewards are why we compulsively check email. Some messages are really important, but you don’t know when the important ones will come, so you keep checking and checking.

Same with checking Twitter and Facebook.

Or watching cable news.

Or waiting for a boring meeting to end.

Find something that captures people’s attention and turns them into crazed animals and you will likely find a variable interval reward.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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13-01-2018, 04:28 PM
RE: All The Personality Test Threads Merged Here
(13-01-2018 04:13 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  ...
The Thrill of Uncertainty
...

Ooh! You have my attention.

Drooling

(13-01-2018 04:13 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  ...
Find something that captures people’s attention and turns them into crazed animals and you will likely find a variable interval reward.

Dodgy

Blush

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13-01-2018, 04:30 PM
RE: All The Personality Test Threads Merged Here
(13-01-2018 04:13 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  Not a test but explains some of our batshit behaviors.

The Thrill of Uncertainty

"By the end of the study, pigeons were pecking a food lever up to five times per second “for as long as fifteen hours without pausing longer than fifteen or twenty seconds during the whole period.”

B.F. Skinner made a pigeon lose its mind.

He also induced them to create rituals

"The experiment might be said to demonstrate a sort of superstition. The bird behaves as if there were a causal relation between its behavior and the presentation of food, although such a relation is lacking. There are many analogies in human behavior. Rituals for changing one's luck at cards are good examples. A few accidental connections between a ritual and favorable consequences suffice to set up and maintain the behavior in spite of many unreinforced instances."

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